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International Debutante Ball: Ballgowns, Aristocrats, And Texas Dips

Originally Posted: January 07, 2013

Lee Fryd

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Visions in white - MacKenzie Nix, Carolyn Schnackenberg, Chase Hughes, Caroline Granruth, Nicole Fischer, Courtney Fischer, and Catherine Bradley. (Photo: Elaine and ChiChi Ubiña/FairfieldCountyLook.com)

Christine Biddle, Leah Rumbough, Christine Schott. (Photo: Elaine and ChiChi Ubiña/FairfieldCountyLook.com)

In a year in which the "Downton Abbey" Granthams and English Royals captured imaginations, the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City seemed the perfect fit for this return to pomp and ceremony zeitgeist. Forty-seven girls in white gowns and long white gloves floated through the evening, which capped a weekend of social activities.

Who comes out? Jessica Catherine Jones and Haley Anderson, granddaughters of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made the famous "Texas Dip." Sarah Rodeo's father is Associate Team Physician of the New York Giants. The Honorable Iona Murray left the magnificent Scone Palace, former crowning palace of the Kings of Scots, to be escorted by her brother the Earl of Stormont, William Murray, in full Highland dress. Mackenzie Nix is a direct descendant of George Washington. And Chase Hughes is related to President Bush's son-in-law, Henry Hager.

Throw in a bunch of Mayflower descendents, and more titled aristocracy, and you get the picture.

Cole Rumbough, Whitney Schott, and Leah Rumbough. (Photo: Elaine and ChiChi Ubiña/FairfieldCountyLook.com)

"It's a lovely tradition," said Christine Schott, who, as a publicist, introduced Lauren Bush and Ashley Bush, Kick Kennedy, Amanda Hearst at various balls, and now, was enjoying seeing her own daughter, Whitney Schott, "come out." She was looking forward to introducing Kyra Kennedy, Robert Kennedy Jr's daughter -- as well as her own fourteen year old daughter, Meredith, in the future.

Even Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin was there for the first time. "My family's all been debs, but I was not," the 8th generation Vanderbilt, a recording artist with her next single "dropping" in January, told us. In the late 19th Century, a comment her great, great, great aunt, Consuelo Vanderbilt actually inspired the International Debutante Ball.

"I came out at four different balls ... from the Mayflower Society to the Quadrille," Schott said. "But the International, I think, is the most relevant today. They get to meet girls from all over the world . Whitney is in International Relations and, so, what fun to start meeting Ambassadors and dignitaries and learning about protocol."

Beautiful Debs and their escorts all in a row. (Photo: Elaine and ChiChi Ubiña/FairfieldCountyLook.com)

Including how to fold those long white gloves that are part of the dress code, Whitney told us. Her dress was a Misha Nonoo, who often clothes Kate and Pippa Middleton. "It's the first dress I saw," Whitney told us. "It's just so simple and so pretty. I wasn't looking for anything over the top."

These days, the Deb Ball has also morphed into a networking opportunity for the career minded young smart set.

Cole Rumbough, grandson of Dina Merrill, who escorted Whitney Schott, also has a singing career. "He'll be singing a tribute to his grandmother who'll be honored at the Red Cross Ball this year in Palm Beach in February at the Breakers," Schott told us.

Because everything retro is new again.

Margaret Hedberg and Consuelo Vanderbilt. (Photo: Elaine and ChiChi Ubiña/FairfieldCountyLook.com)


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Guest (joyce) from herndon, va says::
I never get tired of reading about deb balls. I guess it goes back to when I used to read about them back in Seattle in the 1960s.
Aug 12, 2013 10:47 am


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